In a land where Cricket is a religion and cricketers are seen as Gods, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has won over millions since its introduction in 2008, with the initial funding from Zee Entertainment Enterprises. Word of the IPL spread like a storm and players and fans worldwide wanted to be part of the action. The twenty20 format of the game makes it as exciting, and as fast paced as a cricket game could get. The addition of beautiful cheerleaders, pop songs for every team, world renowned players hitting massive sixes into the crowd and the huge sums of money involved; it means there’s no cricket tournament like it anywhere else on the planet.
The opening ceremony for IPL 2018 was a star-studded affair. Actors Hrthik Roshan, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez and more from Bollywood welcomed viewers to the new season with stunning performances at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
HISTORY OF THE TOURNAMENT
The IPL has come a long way since its first innings back in 2007. Businessman and cricket executive, Lalit Modi, was tasked by the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) to start a new Twenty20 league that would rival the Indian Cricket League. In early 2008, the BCCI announced the launch of the Indian Premier League, a new franchise based T20 league, which is among the first of its kind in the cricketing world. The league was based on the Premier League of England and the NBA in the United States. The IPL is the most attended cricket league in the world and in 2014, it was ranked sixth by average attendance among all sports leagues. The tournament also became the first sporting event in the world to broadcast live on YouTube in 2010.
In order to decide the owners for the new league, an auction was held on 24 January 2008 with the total base prices of the franchises costing around £300.5 million. At the end of the auction, the winning bidders were announced, as well as the cities the teams would be based in: Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali, and Mumbai. In the end, the franchises were all sold for a total of £543.46 million. The Indian Cricket League soon folded in 2008.
As it stands there is a record of over 50 international players taking part in this year’s VIVO IPL 2018, the powerhouse domestic tournament in which India’s hulking great cricket grounds morph into thorax-thumping subwoofers and the world’s best Twenty20 players (bar those from the Pakistan team, it must be noted) duke it out for their adopted franchises over seven weeks. It literally is like a storm, all the excitement comes and once and before you know it, it’s all gone until another year.
The 2018 IPL auction has seen the franchises build their squads with fresh players. Many players laughed their way to the bank this time round
at the auctions. Ben Stokes, English all-rounder emerged as the costliest player (£1.4million) second year in a row, and Jayadev Unadkat was the costliest Indian player (£1.2 million). Both of them were roped by Rajastan Royals. Here is a list of players of all eight IPL teams and their salaries. (IPL auction 2018 highlights)
However, I don’t think it’s just the money that attracts players to come to the subcontinent; “I don’t think it will ever be straightforward. It’s down to you as a player to be very honest with yourself and if you want to be a part of it, accept the fact that some people won’t have the same opinion. Everyone is different but that is why the world is so good and why life is so interesting.”
The “it” in question, if you haven’t guessed already, is the Indian Premier League and the words are spoken by a philosophical Jos Buttler, England’s one-day wicketkeeper, during an interview with The Guardian in Bengaluru over the weekend.
In its 11th season, the IPL tractor beam us now stronger than ever, with a record £1.8bn broadcast deal over the next five editions seeing each team’s squad budget swell by 20% to more than £8.5million. IPL was first broadcast in the UK and across the world on YouTube, after which ITV 4 had the rights for broadcast IPL games until 2015. Sky Sports then took the rights to the tournament in 2015m replacing free-to-air broadcaster ITV 4.
Sky sports announced a multi-year extension of its broadcast rights deal for the IPL in January 2018. The new agreement, which also includes digital rights, mean that the pay-tv giant will continue to be the exclusive home of the Twenty20 tournament in the UK and Ireland.
Indian broadcaster Star India has completely changed the game in terms of how viewers watch the IPL. Star India now show the IPL in virtual reality (VR) for the first time. Using VR headsets, viewers are able to select their preferred camera angles, pause live matches at any given time and tilt their digital device to get a 360-degree view if the stadium. This new initiative was launched as a part of the network’s ambition to reach more than 700 million viewers across TV and digital.
The IPL hasn’t been all plain sailing for the players or franchises. Back in 2011, two new teams; Rising Pune Supergiants and Kochi Tuskers Kerela joined the IPL. Sahara Adventure Sports Group bought Pune franchise for £300 million while Rendezvous Sports World bought the Kochi franchise for £250.74 million. However, one year later, it was announced that the Kochi Tuskers Kerela side would be terminated following the side breaching the BCCI’s terms and conditions.
In addition, in 2012 defending champions Deccan Chargers were also terminated after not being able to find new owners. Later on that year, an auction was held to see who would be the owner of the replacement franchise, with Sun TV Network winning the bid for the Hyderabad franchise. The team was rebranded with the new name of The Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The Rising Pune Supergiants then withdrew from the IPL in 2013 over financial differences with the BCCI. The franchise was officially terminated by the BCCI in October 2013, because of the franchise failing to provide the necessary bank guarantee.
On June 14th 2015, it was announced that two-time champions, Chennai Super Kings, and the inaugural season champions, Rajastan Royals, were suspended for two seasons following their role in a match-fixing and betting scandal. Then, on 8th December 2015, following the auction, it was revealed that Pune and Gujarat would replace Chennai and Rajastan for two seasons. The two teams were the Rising named Rising Pune Supergiants and The Gujarat Lions.
IPL AND THE ECONOMY
The estimated revenue of the IPL each year is around $3 billion, and it increases each year. The IPL has its revenue streaming from various sources including:
- Ticket Sales
- Merchandising Rights
- Ground advertisements and various other advertising techniques
- Cellular service providers
There is a lot of branding which happens during the IPL, companies choose the IPL to advertise their brand due to the exposure. The revenues earned by broadcasting channels from advertisement can be diverted into encouraging other form of arts. The ticket sales for the IPL are outsources to many organisations such as Bookmyshow, Reliance etc.. giving an alternative avenue for these organisations to grow, indirectly helping out the economy.
Tourism in India is still in its nascent stages; with the arrival of the IPL it had led to many international fans of the contest travelling across the world to watch their beloved franchise. The IPL is helping the cause by showcasing the touristic aspects of the cities and it’s nearby areas. The IPL also provides a wide range of job opportunities; the immediate gains are for the various low profile artists (such as cheerleaders) who perform in between the matches and travel across the country with each team.
CLIMAX OF THE VIVO IPL 2018
This time round, Australian powerhouse Shane Watson stole the show, his fenomenal century ensured Chennai Super Kings their deserved victory after two years away from the IPL. And what a return it was, having beaten Sunrisers in the first qualifier, they did the double to get their hands on the VIVO IPL 2018 trophy.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) were the table toppers at the end of the league stage of the tournament. The SRH bowling line up with the likes of Rashid Kahn (AFG), Bhuvneshwarhvar Kumar (IND), Sidarth Kaul (IND) and Shakib Al Hasan (BNG) proved to be on a great run throughout the tournaments. The Sunrisers bowlers tried their best, but it was one of those days where they had no answers to Watson’s onslaught. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan were outstanding, returning combined figures of 8-2-41-0. Crucially for SRH, the wickets column remained empty for both bowlers.
Stats of the Match:
- Chennai Super Kings scored 111 runs in the middle 9 overs – the most any team has scored in that period of play in VIVO IPL 2018.
- Shane Watson’s score – 117 – would be the highest score by a batsman in an IPL Final.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad 178-6(Shikhar Dhawan 25, Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45*) lost to.
- Chennai Super Kings181-2 in 18.3 overs (Shane Watson 117*, Suresh Raina 32) by 8 wickets.
With viewership growing year on year, the IPL is now the best 20Twenty cricket tournament in the world. Players worldwide come to play and experience the IPL, to be a star in the epic Bollywood extravaganza. The wait has now begun, until next year when the IPL can once more add a little spice to the early months of the summer.